Osgood-Schlatter disease is the term used to describe growing pain affecting the front of the knee where the quadriceps muscle attaches to the tibia (lower leg bone) via the Patellar tendon. It is characterised by pain and a small bump just below the knee.
The condition commonly affects active boys 13-15 years old and girls 10-12 years. Symptoms generally arise during these years as they correlate to a growth spurt.
Increasing bone length results in increased muscle tension at the quadriceps insertion on the tibia. This increases stress on the growing bone and can result in pain due to inflammation of the tendon and micro-breakdown of the bone.
Symptoms include redness, pain, and swelling in the front of the knee below the kneecap. These symptoms are especially present during certain activities such as running, kneeling, or stair climbing.
Osgood-Schlatter syndrome usually resolves with time. Physiotherapy treatment can manage symptoms, help reduce pain and provide beneficial home exercises. Physiotherapists will also be able to provide advice regarding the specific presentation and advise whether activity modification or sports reduction is necessary.